Pfizer to apply for COVID-19 booster approval for 16 and 17 year olds: report

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FILE – A healthcare worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital on Oct. 5, 2021, in Miami. U.S. regulators have opened up COVID-19 booster shots to all and more adults, Friday, Nov. 19, letting them choose another dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

(The Hill) – Pfizer and BioNTech are reported set to seek approval for booster shots of their COVID-19 vaccine for 16- and 17-year-olds.

People familiar with the company’s plans told The Washington Post that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve the company’s request surrounding the additional shots quickly. 

Currently, Americans ages 18 and older are eligible for booster shots six months after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two months after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

The possible expansion of booster eligibility comes as concerns surrounding the new omicron variant mount.

On Monday, President Biden said omicron “is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” and that lockdowns to address it are not needed.

“On Thursday, I’ll be putting forward a detailed strategy outlining how we’re going to fight COVID this winter, not with shutdowns or lockdowns but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more,” Biden said.

Last week, in a statement about the variant, Biden touted booster shots and encouraged those who were eligible to get their additional doses. 

“First, for those Americans who are fully vaccinated against severe COVID illness – fortunately, for the vast majority of our adults — the best way to strengthen your protection is to get a booster shot, as soon as you are eligible,” he said on Friday

No omicron cases have yet been confirmed in the U.S., though experts believe they inevitably will be.

The Hill has reached out to Pfizer for comment. 

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